Am I A Candidate For A Flu Shot
With certain exceptions, children and adults should get a flu shot every year. Certain flu vaccines may not be recommended in certain situations. Different vaccines are approved for different ages. Rarely, some people with certain health conditions or severe allergies to any ingredient should not get vaccinated for influenza.
When Should You Get The Flu Shot
The CDC recommends getting the seasonal flu shot as soon as it becomes available in your community typically in the early fall. Although we tend to associate flu with the winter months, flu season can begin as early as October.
People receiving chemotherapy can get the flu shot at any time. However, your doctor might advise you to wait and get the shot when your white blood cell count is at a peak, usually a day or so before your next cycle of chemotherapy is about to begin. There are two reasons for this:
- The higher your white blood cell count, the more effective the shot is likely to be. Remember that the flu shot is going to teach these cells and your entire immune system how to deal with the influenza viruses should they enter your body. The more white blood cells that are present to respond to the viruses in the vaccine, the better.
- Any side effects of the flu shot might be confused with infection. Although most people dont have side effects, some can experience soreness, swelling, fever, and/or body aches. Your doctor will be watching you closely for any symptoms of infection, especially when your white blood cell counts are lowest.
If your white blood cell counts are staying low throughout your chemotherapy and you need a flu shot, you should still get one. If youre experiencing any serious side effects from chemotherapy, such as fever or chills or possible symptoms of infection, your doctor may want to delay the flu shot until these improve.
Be Sure To Get Your Flu Shot But Expert Advises To Wait A Few Weeks
Dr. Karen Muratore wants you to get a flu shot this year especially this year. But not right away.
Although the flu vaccine wont keep you from getting COVID-19, it could keep you out of the hospital. And that could keep the health care system, which is desperately fighting the pandemic, from becoming overwhelmed.
Even when there is no coronavirus, during flu season generally hospitals are at full capacity with ICUs and ERs taking the brunt of that, said Muratore, a primary care physician with Ochsner Health Center. It would be even more complicated if there is a surge in coronavirus.
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Can Pnh Patients Get Pregnant And Have A Healthy Delivery
Pregnancy is possible with PNH, but it is not a good idea. It carries serious risks for both mother and child.
A woman with PNH faces a number of risks during pregnancy:
- Her blood may have fewer healthy cells.
- Her bone marrow may make fewer healthy cells.
- She is more likely to get blood clots. Most doctors place pregnant women with PNH on blood thinners to prevent clots. But warfarin cannot be used during the first trimester, since it may affect fetus development.
- She is more likely to get preeclampsia, a dangerous condition that causes very high blood pressure and can put both mother and baby at risk.
- Having a low birth weight
- Having delayed growth and development
Still, about 1 out of 3 babies whose mothers have PNH do not have any of these problems.
If you do get pregnant, look for a PNH specialist and an OB who specializes in high-risk births.
Live Versus Inactivated Vaccines
For people with cancer: It’s important to remember there is a difference between a vaccine with a live virus and one with an inactive virus. It’s also important that people with cancer who might have a weak immune system talk to their doctor about whether they can get vaccines. In general, anyone with a weak immune system should not get any vaccines that contain live virus. There are a few vaccines that contain live viruses, which can sometimes cause infections in people with weak immune systems that can become life-threatening. Your doctor can help guide you about which vaccines are safe while your immune system is weak. Be sure to also talk to your doctor before anyone you spend a lot of time with gets any vaccines.
For family and caregivers of people who have cancer: If you live with or spend a lot of time with a person who has cancer and might have a weakened immune system, it’s important to talk to the doctor if you, your child, or your loved one is due for a vaccination of any kind. Usually, most age-appropriate vaccines can be given, but there are some exceptions.
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An Ounce Of Prevention
People should know that the flu shot is not going to protect them against other circulating viruses that cause respiratory illness or the common cold during the fall and winter, notes Dr. Kamboj. You might still get the sniffles or even a respiratory condition from these viruses.
Hand hygiene significantly reduces your risk of getting sick and spreading germs. Wash your hands several times a day! Its underrated, but its so important, she stresses. You dont even need antibacterial cleanser. Regular soap is just as good and is known to kill both influenza and other cold viruses.
Alcohol-based hand gels are also convenient when soap and water arent accessible.
Will The Flu Vaccine Protect Me Against Covid
The flu vaccine wont protect you against COVID-19. But it will help protect you against flu, which is an unpleasant and potentially serious infection that can cause complications leading to hospital admission, permanent disability or death. Helping to protect against flu is particularly important if COVID-19 is still circulating because people vulnerable to COVID-19 are also at risk of complications from flu.
New research from PHE also suggests that co-infection with both flu and COVID-19 is associated with a greater risk of more severe illness and death.
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Who Should And Who Should Not Get A Flu Vaccine
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get an influenza vaccine every season, with rare exceptions. For the 2021-2022 flu season, three main types of influenza vaccines will be available. Two kindsthe inactivated influenza vaccines and the recombinant influenza vaccine are injectable . The third type, the live attenuated influenza vaccine , is given by nasal spray. Different influenza vaccines are approved for different age groups. Some people should not get some types of influenza vaccines, and some people should not receive influenza vaccines at all . Everyone who is vaccinated should receive a vaccine that is appropriate for their age and health status. There is no preference for any one vaccine over another.
This page includes information on who should and who should not get an influenza vaccine, and who should talk to a health care professional before vaccination. Talk to your health care provider if you have any questions regarding which influenza vaccines are best for you and your family.
All persons aged 6 months of age and older are recommended for annual flu vaccination, with rare exception.
Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications.
People who can get the flu shot:
Flu shots are appropriate for most people.
People who SHOULD NOT get a flu shot include:
People who SHOULD NOT get a nasal spray vaccine:
Should The Flu Shot Be Given Before Surgery
The simple answer is yes, you should have the flu shot to prevent you from becoming ill before surgery. The flu vaccine and proper hand washing are the best ways to prevent the flu in all individuals six months of age or older. That said, when the flu shot should be timed prior to surgery seems to vary based on the opinion of the individual surgeon.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting vaccinated in early fall. Getting vaccinated early, for example, in July or August, can be associated with reduced protection against flu infection later in the flu season, particularly among older adults. However, children who need two dosesshould start the vaccination process sooner, because the two doses must be given at least four weeks apart.
If the patient is taking the standard flu shot it should be received no less than one week prior to surgery. Some surgeons say one week prior, while others say two weeks before surgery at the minimum. If the live attenuated version of the flu vaccine is used the vaccine should be taken no less than two weeks prior to surgery, and some prefer it be given sooner than that.
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Can Having Flu Can Protect You From Covid
There is existing evidence for some respiratory viruses that being infected with one virus means that you are less likely to be infected with another in the short term. Studies provide some evidence to suggest that those who tested positive for flu are less likely to test positive for COVID-19. However, there was little flu circulating in the UK by the time we started seeing COVID-19 and more research is needed to understand the relationship between the two viruses.
Even if there was a lower risk, we do see cases that are infected with both viruses and they appear to have more serious disease, with an increased risk of death or admission to ICU. Furthermore, flu alone can lead to serious disease and death so it is important that people protect themselves from both flu and COVID-19.
Who Should Have The Flu Vaccination
Some cancer treatments lower immunity and lower your resistance to flu. These include:
- removal of the spleen
After cancer treatment, your resistance to infection might be low for some months or years.
Your GP or cancer specialist will usually recommend that you have the flu vaccine if one of these apply to you. Depending on your situation, they may suggest that you continue with regular flu vaccines once your treatment has finished. But do check with them and ask when it is best to have it.
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Can You Go Elsewhere If Your Gp Practice Or Pharmacy Has Run Out
If you are eligible for the free flu vaccine, you may get it either from your own GP practice or any pharmacy offering NHS flu vaccinations. They should be able to tell you when they expect to be able to offer you a vaccine.
As supply of vaccine may vary between services, if your GP or pharmacy dont have vaccine immediately available when you contact them, you can contact other pharmacies to see if they can vaccinate you instead.
Pregnant women can ask their maternity provider for the free flu vaccine and some of those visiting hospitals either as inpatients or outpatients may also be offered the flu vaccine there.
Is This Year’s Vaccine Safe
Although no medical procedure is totally free of risk, flu vaccines are generally very safe. The most common reaction to the jab is a sore arm, or you may feel hot for a day or two after the vaccination.
This years flu jabs have been tested and approved for use across the UK and in Europe. The jab cannot give you flu because it doesn’t contain any active viruses.
The Department of Health recommends that everyone who is eligible for a flu jab should have it as soon as the vaccine is available.
If you are in an at-risk group and do not have the jab, you will have a greater risk of developing serious complications or even dying if you get flu this winter.
If you haven’t had the flu vaccine and you are in a risk group, make an appointment to get vaccinated.
Find out more about the flu vaccine, including how the vaccine is made and how it protects you.
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Why Is The Flu Shot Important For People Affected By Breast Cancer
Getting a flu shot is particularly important for people with weak immune systems because they are the ones who are the most vulnerable to serious complications if they actually catch the flu. These people include babies, the elderly, people with allergies, and people with chronic or acute illnesses. Since breast cancer treatments can weaken your immune system, it is especially important for you to get a flu shot. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , people who have cancer or had it in the past are at higher risk of flu complications. The CDC also recommends that anyone who lives with you should receive the regular flu vaccine as well .
Aging also weakens the immune system, increasing the risk of complications from flu. If you are age 65 or older, ask your doctor about the new high-dose flu vaccines that are available for people over 65.
Where To Get The Flu Vaccine
You can have the NHS flu vaccine at:
- your GP surgery
- a pharmacy offering the service
- your midwifery service if you’re pregnant
- a hospital appointment
If you do not have your flu vaccine at your GP surgery, you do not have to tell the surgery. This will be done for you.
It’s important to go to your vaccination appointments unless you have symptoms of COVID-19.
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Flu Vaccine For Children
A annual nasal spray flu vaccine is now offered to all children aged two, three and four years as part of the NHS childhood vaccination programme.
In certain geographic areas the spray will also be offered to children aged 2-18 with long-term health conditions like diabetes, heart disease and lung disease. Please contact the surgery for further information if required.
Children aged six months to 2 years with long-term health conditions aren’t able to have the nasal spray and will get the injected flu vaccine instead.
Read more information about:
Allergic Reactions To The Flu Vaccine
It’s very rare for anyone to have a serious allergic reaction to the flu vaccine. If this does happen, it usually happens within minutes.
The person who vaccinates you will be trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.
Anyone can report a suspected side effect of a vaccine through the Yellow Card Scheme.
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Our Views: Spreading The Virus In Greater Baton Rouge Doesn’t Help Us
Part of the complication, Muratore said, is that both viral infections share common symptoms fever, headaches, muscle aches, weakness, nasal discharge, cough and sore throat.
Coronavirus can include loss of taste and smell and sometimes diarrhea, which arent usually associated with the flu. It also is possible to have both diseases simultaneously.
Muratore said she knows of no studies that show having both would make either disease more deadly, but shes concerned that simultaneous infections would weaken the bodys ability to recover.
It takes the flu vaccine about two weeks to provide full protection, Muratore said, and its strongest protection is in the first three months after receiving it.
The peak of flu season is usually December through February. So, she advises patients to wait until mid-October or early November to get their shots to maximize the vaccines effectiveness.
Everybody pushes for people to get the flu shot, so theyre accepting whenever you want to get it as long as you get it, she said. Its still probably not a good idea to get it too early because you want that full impact of the antibodies protecting you through the entire flu season.
How To Book Your Appointment
If you’re eligible for a free flu vaccine, you can book an appointment at your GP surgery or a pharmacy that offers it on the NHS.
You may also get an invitation to get the vaccine, but you do not have to wait for this before booking an appointment.
Everyone who is eligible for the free flu vaccine will be able to get it.
GP surgeries and pharmacies get the flu vaccine in batches. If you cannot get an appointment straight away, ask if you can book an appointment for when more vaccines are available.
If you have an appointment for a COVID-19 booster vaccine at a GP surgery or pharmacy, you may also be offered a flu vaccine at the same time.
Do not delay booking your flu vaccine appointment so that you can get both vaccines together. Only some people will be offered both vaccines at the same time.
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Cancer Treatment And Immunity
Even if youre not actively in treatment, having cancer can diminish your immune systems ability to fend off illness. For example, blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma and cancer in the lymph nodes can lower immunity.
And if you are receiving cancer treatment, youre at increased risk for complications from influenza. For example, radiation for lung cancer may raise your chances of developing flu-related respiratory conditions such as pneumonitis. Steroid medications, which are often prescribed for people undergoing radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are also known to weaken your immune defenses.
For most people, its best to protect yourself and get the flu vaccine regardless of the type of cancer treatment youre receiving, says Dr. Kamboj.
Flu Vaccine For People With Long
The flu vaccine is offered free on the NHS to anyone with a serious long-term health condition, including:
- a learning disability
- problems with your spleen, for example, sickle cell disease, or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or taking medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
Talk to your doctor if you have a long-term condition that is not in one of these groups. They should offer you the flu vaccine if they think you’re at risk of serious problems if you get flu.
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